Morgan County Recreation Department Youth Basketball Camp

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By R. Alan Richardson

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There’s a young man out there who is making his mark on high school basketball not just in our state but also across the country.  Derrick Williams held his annual MCRD youth basketball camp this past week with 31 youngsters enjoying his basketball knowledge that comes from a lifetime of living with his Dad.  Jack Williams and Derrick are both products of the Morgan County School System where his father was a standout forward on a team that came within one point of making the final four in 1975.  The camp he finished up this past week is only one of many that he has already run or others to come during a full summer of basketball.  He’s what you might call a gym rat.  His schedule includes camps at Nathaniel Greene, Gatewood (where he was a former coach), and helping run tournaments across Georgia.  The coach is now employed as the head girls’ coach at Laramie (Wyoming) High School and will be returning there for a camp from June 13-16 while also being a part of a 64 team high school exposure camp in July.  He described this event like this, “Shun Williams with On The Radar Hoops will be running a high school camp in July that will be one of the biggest exposures in the country.  He’s a heavy-hitter when it comes to these types of camps.  There should be 200-300 college coaches attending to begin evaluating talent for this year’s recruiting class.”

Williams talked more about the camp in Morgan County by saying, “We had a great week of fundamentals and simply learning the little things about basketball.  I had a lot of great help from high school and middle school players and I couldn’t have done it without them.  Jordan Huff, Kourtney Elder, AJ Brown, and Shay Brown did a fantastic job with the kids this week.  I’ve always enjoyed coming back to my roots in Morgan County where I grew up.  It’s great when you can give back.  One player told me that the only reason she came back to the camp this year was because she knew that I would be there running the camp.  That’s just one of the reasons you continue to do it.  It’s a calling I guess.”

The 28-year-old said he remembers attending his first basketball camp at about three years old with his Dad at Georgia College and State University.  Derrick said, “Growing up and playing at Morgan County and then following my Dad to Putnam County, I watched him spending all those hours as a teacher and coach and swore I would never be a basketball coach.  I guess the genes were just too strong in me so now that’s what I do full-time.”

His final statement was strong and tells you why he and all these coaches do what they do.  “If there’s a gym open anywhere, I’ll be there to teach and coach the kids because of my love for the game.  I’ll stay as long as they want and work with them to help improve their game.”

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